Tag: “history1”

In stock: our coffee table books

by on Jul.16, 2017, under Allgemein

Rahmen_Bild_2017_1000x700_ctb_Ref2Our four books are in stock and can be shipped immediately – just visit our bookstore. Use the browse by tags function to get further information about the content in each of the four books.

“History1” (420 pages)
“History2” (480 pages)
“The References” 1930’s-1940’s (696 pages)
“The References” 1950’s-1960’s (696 pages)

Each book comes with hardback jacket (leather and canvas, black and blind embossed) in a slipcase (canvas, black embossed). Page size 10.2 x 10.2″ / 26 x 26 cm, trilingual (German, Italian and English language). Read how to place your order here.

Visit our bookstore and enjoy reading soon!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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2007 – ten years ago…

by on Jun.10, 2017, under Allgemein

…we started our first book project in summer 2007 – “Vintage Panerai – Watches with History”. Research on watches and the hunt for historic documents, photos and information begun. For the documentation of Mario Arillo’s Ref. 6152/1 “Luminor Panerai” we got several copies of historic photos from its second owner, of which one b&w copy of a photo (far left in the photo below) caught our special attention.

Rahmen_Bild_2017_2007-2017-2The caption under the photo told “Festa di Marina, 10 giugno 1943. Il comandante Mario Arillo, qui con i gradi del capitano di corvetta, riceve dal Re d’Italia, Vittorio Emanuele III, la Medaglia d’Oro al Valore Militare. Decorazione concessa dopo il forzamento del Porto di Algeri della notte del 12 dicembre 1942 da parte di mezzi d’assalto, che erano stati trasportati in prossimà dell’obiettivo dal sommergibile Ambra.”

With the support of Fabio Castellani, the second owner of the watch, we were able to send a letter directly to the family of Mario Arillo (1912-2000), asking for the original photo to make a scan of it for using it in the book and to return it back immedately. A few weeks later, a letter from the family arrived in the author’s mailbox …including the original photo from 1943! After the scan was done with great care, the photo returned to the family, as promised. But to the surprise of the authors, the photo hit their mailbox once again only a few days after it was sent back to La Spezia. This time with a dedication on the backside, handwritten by the commander’s daughter, and with the wish to keep it with us. Memories from ten years ago – this happened in June 2007.

A few months later, in October 2007, our first book was published, the photo found a prominent place on page 130. This sold out book with 228 pages “Vintage Panerai – Watches with History” was replaced five years later, in 2012, by the book “History1” in which we published extended information on 420 pages. With the support of Arillo’s family we were able to document his story in chapter IV on a total of 165 pages and with more than 100 historical photos and illustrations, some of them never published before. The photo found its place on page 344 once again. In 2016, Arillo’s Ref. 6152/1 has been featured in chapter VIII.II of our book “The References” (page 942-955). A short intro about its first owner is opening with the very photo on page 950. It was taken on 10 June 1943, exactly 74 years ago today…

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A lot to read during the holiday season…

by on Dec.10, 2016, under Allgemein

rahmen_bild_2016_x-mas_8474_1000x700Read about watches and instruments from Guido Panerai & Figlio. Vintage Panerai watches from the 1930’s to the 1960’s are described and photographed in intricate detail for the reader, telling the stories of their first users during their dangerous underwater missions.

“History1” (420 pages)
“History2” (480 pages)
“The References” 1930’s-1940’s (696 pages)
“The References” 1950’s-1960’s (696 pages)

As a reference finder, as an addition to your library at home or as a special christmas gift for your friends: our Vintage Panerai books will be a great read for any Panerai collector. Each book comes with an embossed hardback jacket (leather and canvas) in a slipcase, sized 10.2 x 10.2″, trilingual (= German, Italian and English language).

Our four books are in stock and can be shipped immediately – just visit our bookstore. Use the browse by tags function to get further information about the content in each of the four books. Read how to place your order here.

Take your seat and enjoy reading!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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How the ‘Ambra’ became a transport submarine for SLC units…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history1_4arillo_600x600CHAPTER IV @ “History1”: The chapter on Mario Arillo begins with an interview conducted with him in 1989. Numerous as yet unpublished pictures and documents from the family possessions of the famous commander from La Spezia augment the personal descriptions of his submarine missions as a means of transport for Italian Gamma swimmers and the SLC units of the Decima MAS.

Mario Arillo’s impressive and moving interview, taken 11 years before he died, holds many interesting details on the missions against the harbours on the north african coast with very rare photos taken aboard the submarine Ambra together with SLC pilots and Gamma frogmen.

CHAPTER IV.I features “The Arillo-Luminor”, a Ref. 6152/1 with “Luminor Panerai” dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 4 movement.

The book “History1″ (420 pages / chapter IV: 165 pages, 106 photos, 7 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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Exercised to become a frogman at the Baltic Sea…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history1_3kiefer_600x600CHAPTER III @ “History1”: The story of Karl-Heinz Kiefer, who received fast-track training in the last months of the Second World War, already provided proof in the first edition of this book (2007 / sold out) about period of use of the rare watch-face version of his Panerai watch, which for a long time had been ascribed to an earlier date. In chapter III of “History1”, his winter training in a toughening-up camp at the Baltic Sea is described in more detail.

CHAPTER III.I features “The Kiefer-Radiomir”, a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial (painted brass) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History1″ (420 pages / chapter III: 55 pages, 39 photos, 3 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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Reading a frogman’s diary – an unique story…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history1_2pape_600x600 CHAPTER II @ “History1”: For the most part the chapter about Heinz Pape is taken from his surviving diary and presented as a firstperson narrative, with comprehensive supplementation.

Thanks to extremely rare aerial photographs of the assignment targets described by him and the examination of several maps it was possible to analyse his diary entries precisely and thus present them to the reader in such an impressive manner – an unique story.

CHAPTER II.I features “The Pape-Radiomir”, a Ref. 3646 / Type D with anonymous “Kampfschwimmer” dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History1″ (420 pages / chapter II: 91 pages, 44 photos, 3 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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From elite swimmer to frogman – and back again…

by on Nov.26, 2016, under Allgemein

history1_1lehmann_600x600CHAPTER I @ “History1”: The story of the German elite swimmer Heinz Günter Lehmann is told with numerous photos (including maps and documents of the allied secret intelligence), covering the period from his training in Venice to his countless sporting successes on the international stage after the Second World War.

CHAPTER I.I features “The Lehmann-Radiomir”, a Ref. 3646 / Type C with “Radiomir Panerai” dial and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement.

The book “History1″ (420 pages / chapter I: 75 pages, 38 photos, 4 technical illustrations) is in stock. It can be ordered directly in our bookstore. Enjoy reading!

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One more 3646 / Type D with brass dial surfaced in the UK

by on Sep.18, 2016, under Allgemein

rahmen_bild_2016_1000x700_3646dbrassukIntroducing another piece of the puzzle – and one more surfaced in the United Kingdom: a Ref. 3646 / Type D with black painted brass dial and rare “Kampfschwimmer” engraving with initials of the first owner on its outer caseback. After more than 70 years the watch changed ownership once again and recently found a good new home at a Panerai collector from Germany, who provided the photo shown on the left.

The watch has been added into our database in March 2016 and comes with flat bezel (a typical feature of the watches with flat dials), onion shaped “Brevet +” crown (Type 11) and Rolex Cal. 618 / Type 1 movement. The watch has never been polished and has still its original plexi, showing the typical traces of aging. The inner caseback is signed with the Rolex SA hallmark, reference and case number. A similar 3646 / Type D watch with flat bezel and black painted brass dial will be auctioned in Glasgow on September 23rd, 2016 at Great Western Auctions.

A Ref. 3646 / Type D watch with black painted brass dial is featured in our book “History1” in chapter III together with the history of its first owner, a German “Kampfschwimmer” who provided us very interesting information about his service, training and how some of these Panerai watches “changed ownership” during the time when he was a POW (prisoner of war) in the summer of 1945 (page 206-207).

Watches of the Reference 3646 / Type D are also featured in our new book “The References” 1930’s-1940’s in chapter II.IV (page 398-531) including a historic photo of a German “Kampfschwimmer” wearing a 3646 with brass dial on page 475.

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How to visualize a frogman’s pencil written diary from 1945?

by on Jul.09, 2016, under General

During the research on the history behind a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” with engraved caseback, we were able to study the diary of the first owner of the watch. This diary survived the last days of the Second World War and the veteran kept it for decades, willed to share it with us and partially featured in chapter II of our book “History2”.

Thanks to the many detailed descriptions (e.g. the water temperature, current, weather conditions and explosive charges carried) which the frogman wrote down and the examination of historical maps of the 1940’s it was possible to analyze his diary entries precisely and visualize his memories to the readers of our book in an impressive way. The collected documents and additional information let this chapter become one of the unique stories behind a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch.

History1_frontal_300x300Reading page 83 of “History1” reminds on a part of our research which did happened not often. The frogman wrote the following lines in his diary at the beginning of March 1945:

“The next morning we set off towards the east in a truck. With unbelievable power, the Russians have pushed thru as far as the [river] Oder in their last offensive. They even managed to build two bridgeheads at Fürstenberg [in November 1961 the city was renamed Eisenhüttenstadt]. Reconnaissance flights tell us that they are putting tremendous amounts of people and material into these bridgeheads”.

Reconnaissance flights? Having this information in mind, we started to search various archives for still existing aerial photographs – maybe the one which the frogmen mentioned in his diary still exists? After the war, some remaining photos were transferred to archives which stored these photos for bomb clearance works. Good luck on the hunt! Guess how easy this search would be? Where to start? To find a aerial photo from the same date, same area and even showing the target, not knowing if its existing at all? We found it – a needle in a haystack – the photo which was shown to the frogmen as their next target.

IMG_3659_600x600Dated to 1 March 1945, the photo taken by a reconnaissance flight shows one of the pontoon bridges built across the Oder by the Russian troops just shortly before – which became soon later the target for the “Keller Group” just as the frogman wrote it down in his diary. Read more on the diary and various historic documents which helped us to visualize this source of information during our research on a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer” watch here.

The coffee table shot shows page 110-111, chapter II of “History2” next to one of the few original photos of the “Keller Group” taken shortly before their missions at the eastern front (spot some Panerai gear in it). This photo is published on page 94 in the same chapter. The coffee table shot includes also a Ref. 3646 / Type D “Kampfschwimmer”, featured in chapter V of “History2” – the watch of frogman Siegfried Köneke, who was also a member of the “Keller Group”. Read more about this chapter here.

Our two “History” books can be ordered only in our bookstore.

Enjoy reading stories behind these watches!
[Ralf Ehlers & Volker Wiegmann]

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“Watches with History” – our two history books

by on Apr.27, 2016, under Allgemein

IMG_2709_600x600Our first book, published in 2007 and entitled “Watches with History” opened with the words “In this book we would like to give the reader an overview of historic Panerai watches and their documented history.” Years passed since then, during which we have embarked on many interesting trips into the past while researching this subject.

The personal stories of the first owners of these watches were mostly forgotten in the last years, reaching back more than 70 years since their use in war times. Only a few Vintage Panerai watches can tell their story, and the story of many others will never be told. In 2012 we were able to take an even deeper and more comprehensive look at the wearers and the uses of these watches in the book “History1”.

IMG_2720_600x600The stories in this book take the reader back to the time of the Second World War. Rare pictures from this period bear silent and impressive witness to the conditions and living circumstances, which we have also been able to supplement with rare map and image materials from various international archives. A small number of Vintage Panerai watches reveal their secrets to the collector and answer the ever-recurring question: Who used the watch? When did the operations take place, and to what purpose? And further: where and under what conditions did the comprehensive training of the special maritime unit take place? How and by what means were the deployments of the combat swimmers carried out? What do the veterans think of those missions today? We pursued the answers to these questions and, thanks to the help of some surviving veterans, their descendants, or by means of analyzing previously unknown documents such as diaries, interview records or recordings by opposing spies, we managed to compile some very impressive and authentic chapters.

The four chapters of our book “History1″ (420 pages) are introduced below:
Chapter I / Chapter II / Chapter III / Chapter IV

IMG_2694_600x600In the book “History2” (2013) we once again took our readers on a journey through time with five more stories: five exciting and moving fates of frogmen, for whom their Panerai watch was not an item of jewellery, but rather an important piece of equipment during the Second World War.

„History2“ outlines the personal experiences of the combat swimmers and describes in the smallest detail their fate, which has, during conversations or in written correspondence, evoked at times painful memories and great emotions after many decades.

The watches presented in this book were in action under “real” battle conditions in the Second World War. They accompanied their original owners since combat swimmer training and indeed for many years after the war.

The five chapters of our book “History2″ (480 pages) are introduced below:
Chapter V / Chapter VI / Chapter VII / Chapter VIII / Chapter IX

Our books “History1” and “History2″ can be ordered directly in our bookstore.

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